When your friends, family, and even coworkers know you were away for a trip, it’s common for them to ask about it. The next time you see them, you’ll get questions like “How was your trip?”, and others asking for details about your trip.
Your response will depend on different things, most importantly how close the person is to you, and secondly how your trip actually went. We’ll guide you on how to navigate the “How was your trip?” question in several situations so you don’t become overwhelmed by everyone asking.
Things to pay attention to before replying to someone not close to you
People you are not so close to will ask you “How was your trip?” as a form of small talk, or even as their way to be a bit nosy. It’s up to you to decide if you want to share the details with this person or not.
Here are some things we think you should pay attention to before replying to someone you are not close to when they ask, “How was your trip?”:
Think about the relationship you and this person share.
Is this person a friend of a friend who is always around and could potentially be a part of your circle? Or, is this the guy at your grocery store who packs your bags?
One person is closer to being a friend to you than the other. You might feel more comfortable revealing certain details to the first person, as it is likely to be in private, as opposed to the second person, where you are in public and other people might be listening to your conversation.
You should also analyze coworker relationships as certain details might not be appropriate to discuss at the workplace.
If it is a bad time for a discussion or you feel like there are too many strangers that could be listening in on your conversation, keep your recollection of the trip brief or vague.
Use generalizations, such as “It was a good trip”, versus detailing the things that made it good which you might not necessarily want others to be privy to.
If the person continues to pry and asks for details about what you did while traveling, keep it short and sweet. Don’t give out more information than necessary.
If you went skinny dipping in the pool with a group from the south of Wales, you can say you went swimming with other people from the resort.
If you run out of answers, or if you feel like the person is pressing too much, try to change the subject.
A good way to do this is by asking the person what he/she is planning for his/her next vacation. You can also ask the person to fill you in on what happened while you were away.
This makes the conversation flow naturally and doesn’t make it obvious that you don’t want to talk about your trip.
How To Answer, “How Was Your Trip?”
When we don’t mind sharing the details about how our trip went with the people we are close to, we can sometimes be short in our responses. Saying your trip went ‘well’ or was ‘good’ to your close friends is simply not enough and they deserve better answers than that.
These 10 questions will help you to better answer “How was your trip?”:
1. What was your favorite part of the trip?
2. What did you learn on this trip?
3. How are you going to use what you learned from this trip in the future?
4. What is one thing that surprised you most on this trip?
5. Tell them about the best meal or drink that you had while traveling
6. What is the difference between how people live there and here?
7. How did you get around?
8. Is there anything you wish you had packed?
9. What advice would you give to anyone going there for the first time?
10. Would you go back?
Once you can answer these questions for yourself, you can use these responses to curate more detailed and better answers to “How was your trip?”
If it’s a business trip
When you get asked “How was your trip?” and it was for business, you’ll want to avoid using words such as good and bad, especially when speaking to your boss and colleagues. Instead, mention the highlights of your trip or anything that stood out.
This is what you can say:
When the boss asked
This is a good response to use when your boss sends you and/or a team to represent the company and asks for a verbal rundown. It will give your boss the impression it went well.
You can use this response when you took a business trip to somewhere far away. It is good to use this when things went according to plan.
You can use this when something went wrong on the trip, for example, a deal didn’t go through, or you lost a client. The hint of positivity at the end shows that you are not dwelling on what happened.
You can customize this response based on what you learned on the trip. The purpose of this response is to let your boss know that the reason for the trip was fulfilled.
You can use this when your company sends you away on an all-expenses paid vacation or retreat. Normally, your boss will want feedback and will expect you to be grateful.
When a colleague asked
You can use this response with a colleague you’re close with to say you had a lot of fun while you were away on the business trip.
This is a good response to use with a colleague you work closely with, but you don’t necessarily have a very close relationship with. In other words, this person is strictly a coworker.
Use this to highlight a meeting with an important client or person in your company or someone you find fascinating. It is good because you’re giving enough details about what happened and your colleague can ask follow-up questions.
You can use this when you weren’t exactly pleased with the way the trip went, but you don’t want to gossip with your coworker since this is bad workplace etiquette.
Note that this does not refer to a literal fire and is only an expression. It means that something happened at the workplace and you had to return before you achieved the purpose of the trip.
If the trip was amazing
When you go off for holiday, whether it’s for a week or just the weekend, the people you told beforehand will likely ask you about it the next time you see them.
When you have had an amazing time, this is what you can say when asked “How was your trip?”:
When friends or family ask
This is good to use when you take a baecation/holiday trip with your significant other to see other relatives. This shares the highlights of your trip, i.e what made it so amazing.
Use this when you go on a trip to another country and stay out of the typical tourist spots. This shows that you’re not a snob about where you stay and that you appreciated the cultural exchange.
This response shows that you had a very good time and your friends and family will probably be interested in going themselves. It’s almost like you’re a personal ad for the destination!
If the food was the highlight of your trip, then this is a good response.
Use this when you had accommodating hosts who made your holiday very special. It is good to use when you went away to relax.
When colleagues or neighbors ask
This is a short and sweet answer when you can’t be bothered to go into details.
Use this when you traveled out of the country and had a very welcoming experience, or the people there live just as you do at home.
This is an appropriate response for the workplace. You don’t need to be discussing your escapades in the office.
This is good to use with neighbors who know you were out of town but you aren’t very close to them.
You can use this when you are friendly with your neighbors and you don’t mind sharing details about your trip with them. After a response like this, they’ll likely inquire about the aspects of the trip you enjoyed most; however, if they don’t, then take it that they are not interested in the invitation.
If the holiday trip was bad
When the trip hasn’t gone so well, it’s harder to come up with an answer to “How was your trip?”. Still, your friends, relatives, and others that ask the question will expect a response.
Here’s an idea of what you can say when asked “How was your trip?” :
When friends or family ask
Use this when you were disappointed in your visit because of the weather. You can also use this when you visited a hot destination and did not pack enough light clothing or shorts.
This is good to use when your trip was ruined by fights with your travel partners. You can customize it based on who the fights were with.
This is a good response to use when your trip was ruined by a lost suitcase or misplaced luggage. You can elaborate based on your unique situation.
Use this when the reason your trip didn’t go as well as planned was a fault of your own and you want to prevent others from making the same mistake.
This response lets your friend or relative know that your accommodation was disappointing but you still managed to have fun.
When colleagues or neighbors ask
Notice this response is less detailed than the one above. It is good to use since you generally aren’t as close to colleagues or neighbors as you are to friends and relatives.
This is a good response because you aren’t bad-mouthing anyone specifically.
Use this response when you lost your suitcase. This response is good to use because it gives the impression that the trip was bad but you aren’t seeking sympathy.
This is a good response to use when you missed a plane, train or bus on your trip and it left a sour taste in your mouth. It shows you aren’t dwelling on that aspect of the trip though.
This is an experience shared by a lot of tourists who want the local experience when traveling. A lot of the time, they aren’t prepared to relinquish certain comforts that they are used to at home. This response says that your accommodation was not satisfying and you are not interested in doing that type of thing again.
After your trip, the most important thing you should be focused on is getting back into the groove of everyday life. When you’re asked, “How was your trip?”, don’t stress yourself for an answer.
We’ve given you 30. Just pick one!